“Birth Control Law and Reform in the Age before Roe,” 9/2 Colloquium with Kennesaw State University Assistant Prof. of History Lauren MacIvor Thompson

 09/02/2022

To kick off Fall 2022 Friday colloquium programming at the Kinder Institute, Dr. Lauren MacIvor Thompson, Assistant Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University and Faculty Fellow at the Georgia State University College of Law’s Center for Law, Health, and Society, will give a talk entitled “‘Thoughtful Mothers Choose Abortion’: Birth Control Law and Reform in the Age Before Roe,” which will look at the historical significance and continued reverberations of early birth control activists’ efforts to urge the legalization of contraception. The talk will be held at 3:30pm in Jesse 410.

Abstract

Reformers in the early birth control movement urged the legalization of contraception to prevent illegal abortion and save desperate women’s lives. Kennesaw State University Assistant Professor Lauren MacIvor Thompson explores how their activism resulted in legal transformations that allowed physicians to prescribe birth control to their patients and also shaped the future of reproductive rights for women in uneven ways that reverberate today.

Dr. Lauren MacIvor Thompson is a historian of reproductive health, women’s rights, and the law. She is an Assistant Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University and also serves as the faculty fellow at the Georgia State University College of Law’s Center for Law, Health, and Society. Her book, Rivals and Rights: Mary Dennett, Margaret Sanger, and the Making of the American Birth Control Movement is forthcoming with Rutgers University Press in 2024. She has published numerous academic articles and op-eds including work in Law and History ReviewThe Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive EraThe Washington Post, and The New York Times. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Society for the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, among others. Thompson is also a frequent public speaker, including presentations at the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Society for Legal History, and the American Association for the History of Medicine, as well as national and international symposiums on suffrage and legal rights, reproduction, health, and medicine. She is a member of the national Scholars Strategy Network.